Florida senator Marco Rubio — Republican rising star, potential VP candidate, and definitely the most adorable person scheduled to take the stage at CPAC this year— used his speech this morning to outline his sentimental, stump-speechy vision of America’s place in the world. The “most powerful thing about our nation is the American example,” he told the crowd. The American example is what gives hope to oppressed people around the world, he said, what shows them that a better way is possible, that there is something to “sacrifice their lives” for.
The audience liked what they heard. They vigorously cheered Rubio’s applause lines, they laughed at his jokes about TelePrompTers and Jimmy Carter. At one point, Rubio asked the crowd to let him know when his time runs out. “Never!” two people shouted out at the same time. To their great disappointment, he did eventually stop talking.